Archive for September 2010

Investigation Discovery Hosts ‘Hardcover Mysteries’ Panel at Library of Congress

September 21, 2010 | by gweiswasser

Authors Sandra Brown, David Baldacci and Kathy Reichs Share Stories About Writing Their Best-Selling Novels

Today’s post is from guest blogger Maia Kotlus-Gates,  our Investigation Discovery Digital Publicist, who attended last night’s special event.

On Monday night, hundreds of armchair sleuths and book enthusiasts gathered for “Hardcover Mysteries,” an event hosted by Investigation Discovery and the Library of Congress. Mystery writers David Baldacci, Sandra Brown and Kathy Reichs discussed what inspires them to write crime novels, as well as the true stories that have influenced the crossover of fact and fiction in their works.

On writing thriller novels, Brown told the audience that pacing is key: “You don’t have time to tiptoe through the tulips — readers want jolts every few pages”.  And all three authors said that research is also essential. Reichs, for example, is spending time in her hometown of Charlotte, NC near the Charlotte Motor Speedway to do research for her latest project. And in the area of character development, Baldacci claimed that the people that make the scariest characters are those that you’d never suspect in the first place. “The most successful killers are ones that don’t look like them,” he said.

During the panel, Baldacci, Brown and Reichs also took questions from event attendees as well as from Facebook and Twitter. Reichs mentioned that she sees the TV version of her leading heroine, Temperance Brennan, as the younger version of the character in her novels. And, in response to a question about how to start as a writer, Baldacci suggested that a trip to the library was a worthy investment to pick up books from some of the “masters” and study how they practice their craft.

“Hardcover Mysteries” was the first in a series of literary events in connection with the 10th annual National Book Festival, which concludes this Saturday on the National Mall.  InvestigationDiscovery.com featured the event as the website’s first live webcast.

Investigation Discovery will launch its new television series, also titled Hardcover Mysteries, this fall. Eight best-selling mystery authors (including Baldacci, Brown and Reichs) will discuss the real-life cases that compelled their fascination and inspired their page-turners. Other featured thriller writers include Harlan Coben, Linda Fairstein, Sara Paretsky, Lisa Scottoline and Joseph Wambaugh. The series premieres on October 11 at 9pm ET/PT.

Check out a preview of  Hardcover Mysteries:

OWN Announces ‘Your OWN Show’ Hosts, Goes Social

September 20, 2010 | by gweiswasser

Lots of news about OWN: The OprahWinfrey Network these days…

First, the network announced today that Dr. Phil, Carson Kressley and Nancy O’Dell will help Oprah with Your OWN Show: Search for the Next TV Star, a competition reality show in search of the next daytime reality star. The show, produced by Mark Burnett and hosted by Kressley and O’Dell, will feature 10 contestants selected through online video submissions and in-person interviews…and the winner will get his or her own daytime talk show on OWN! Your OWN Show: Search for the Next TV Star will premiere in January 2011, and the network itself launches on 1.11.11. (How’s that for easy to remember?)

Oprah was also described by Jamie Kantrowitz in The Huffington Post today as ”diversifying to do more of what she has built her incredible legacy on: to give a platform of inspiration and empowerment to the ordinary person that can live on in a new technological era.” Kantrowitz gives Oprah credit for using social platforms to reach new, younger audiences, while still cultivating her traditional fan following.  She predicts that OWN will be ”the first TV network that truly marries traditional and social media to inspire and create citizen impact.”

You can connect with OWN on social media via Facebook and on Twitter at @OprahWinfreyNet, and stay tuned here for more news about OWN and its programming as the first of next year approaches.

Military Channel Explores PTSD Treatment In ‘Horse Sense and Soldiers’

September 17, 2010 | by gweiswasser

On Sunday night at 10PM ET/PT, Military Channel will air a one-hour special called Horse Sense and Soldiers, which explores how award-winning horse trainer Monty Roberts works with veterans of the Iraq war to help them with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) they’ve faced upon returning to the U.S. 

Horse Sense and Soldiers introduces viewers to three veterans who are experiencing difficulties interacting with their families and going about their daily lives due to PTSD.  For four days, Roberts, an “American renaissance cowboy” famous for his gentle approach to training horses, worked with the three veterans at his farm in California to help them establish trusting relationships and partnerships with horses. Roberts does not use whips, restraints or physical violence to tame horses, but instead relies on a soft-spoken, nurturing style to send signals through body language while interpreting silent messages from the horse. His goal with the veterans is to help them control their anger, confront painful memories, cope with real-life situations, and move on with their lives and relationships.

Given all of the challenges that veterans face upon re-entry to their civilian lives in the U.S., Military Channel is proud to showcase this special as part of its ongoing salute to our returning troops.

Here is a preview of Horse Sense and Soldiers:

Discovery Sites Featured In IE9 Launch

September 16, 2010 | by gweiswasser

How good does Discovery.com look on that big screen?

Yesterday in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled IE9 – the latest version of its web browser.  As part of its kick-off event, Microsoft featured its A to Z launch partners, whose sites will be optimized on the new browser. Discovery Communications represented the ”D” in the alphabetical group of partners, which Microsoft estimates reaches two-thirds of active web users (over 800 million people). Discovery.com, AnimalPlanet.com, and TLC.com are three of the sites that are optimized on the new browser.

IE9′s new functionality allows users to ‘pin’ their favorite optimized sites to their toolbar, giving them visual cues to make it easy to check out what’s new on Discovery.com, TLC.com and AnimalPlanet.com and taking them deeper inside the online experience.  Visitors can easily toggle back and forth between the optimized sites within the Discovery family.

Microsoft’s goal for IE9 was to highlight the sites, and their content, and not the browser. Specifically, the Discovery sites on IE9 feature content more prominently and emphasize viewer favorites. A beta version of IE9 is currently available to Windows 7 users at www.beautyoftheweb.com, and it will be rolled out on new computers in the coming months.

Discovery Communications is honored to have represented the letter D at the launch of IE9, as we are always trying to connect our audiences with our brands in new and meaningful ways. Let us know what you think of the new IE9!

President Obama Announces CEO-Led Effort To Improve STEM Education

September 16, 2010 | by gweiswasser

Today, as part of the White House’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign, President Obama announced the launch of “Change the Equation”, a CEO-led effort to improve dramatically education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Discovery Communications is honored to be a member of Change the Equation, which is a response by the business community to Obama’s urging all Americans last year to join the cause of elevating STEM education as a national priority.

Change the Equation will replicate successful privately funded programs in 100 high-need schools, including encouraging more students to engage in robotics competitions, improving professional development for math and science teachers, and increasing the number of teachers with a STEM undergraduate degree.

The White House posted a video to its website today featuring Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav talking about the importance of a STEM education. He is featured here along with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel.

New 3D Cannon Challenge Released For iPad And iPhone

September 15, 2010 | by gweiswasser

Visitors to Discovery.com have long enjoyed playing Cannon Challenge online, which uses a Non-Line-of-Site (NLOS) cannon that “represents the future of U.S. artillery”.  iPhone users have been able to test their accuracy and skill with the iPhone version of Cannon Challenge, which became one of the top 10 downloads in 2008. Now, Discovery Communications has re-imagined Cannon Challenge with 3D rendered environments and nine new missions for iPad and iPhone

With the Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) cannon, gamers can take advantage of enhanced features, such as social media connectivity to Apple’s new Game Center to post scores, in-game soundtrack or personally selected music and much more. Keep an an eye out for: 

  • Tank turret rotation for more accurate targeting
  • Player tanks moving or using shields for avoiding incoming fire
  • Intelligent enemies moving and shooting back
  • Power-up rewards including shields, ammunition and more
  • Use of Gyroscope (iPhone 4) or Accelerometer to look throughout environment
  • Stunning graphics optimized for iPhone 4 Retina Display
  • Scoring posted to leaderboards
  • Randomized enemy placement on each play

Check out the trailer: